BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Because so many of their ancestors were slaves,
African Americans have often had a difficult time tracking down
documentation of their early roots through public and genealogical
records and, as a result, early family histories may be unavailable
However, those who have succeeded in this endeavor have
sometimes succeeded spectacularly.
Two of those searchers will be at the University at Buffalo for
a free public workshop entitled "Searching for African Ancestors:
Extraordinary Discoveries" on March 23 in 1004 Clemens Hall, on
UB's North Campus, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Lunch will be served.
On that day, Rhonda Brace of Springfield, Massachusetts, and
Regina Mason of San Francisco, California, will meet for the first
time and share their unique stories of genealogical research and
Brace discovered that her ancestor, Jeffrey Brace, had published
a memoir of slavery in 1810. She worked with Kari Winter, PhD, UB
professor of American Studies, the editor of "The Blind African
Slave; or Memoirs of Boyereau Brinch, Nicknamed Jeffery Brace," to
gather information about the Brace family's history in New England
from the Civil War to the present.
After years of searching for her family roots, Regina Mason
discovered an ancestor named William Grimes, who like Jeffery
Brace, had published a memoir of his experiences as a slave (his in
Mason formed a partnership with William L. Andrews, PhD, E.
Maynard Adams Professor of English, University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, and devoted years of research to the production of a
new edition of Grimes' book, "Life of William Grimes, the Runaway
In addition to the discussions by Brace, Mason and Winter, three
respondents will offer comments on the presentations: Barbara
Nevergold, co-founder of the Uncrowned Queens Institute;
Christopher Lee, PhD, associate professor of Health Studies,
University of Western Ontario, and Candice Reynolds-Lee of Ontario,
a descendent of Jeffery Brace.
Sponsors are the UB Humanities Institute, UB Institute on
Research and Education on Women and Gender, the UB
Canadian-American Studies Committee and the government of
Those interested in attending should R.S.V.P. via email to
Chenelle D. Massey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive
public university, a flagship institution in the State University
of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus.
UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests
through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional
degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a
member of the Association of American Universities.